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Jimmie Johnson Looking To Build His Lead At Dover

Dover International Speedway (Getty Images)

Round three in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship is Sunday at Dover, Delaware’s Monster Mile.

Jimmie Johnson is the leader after two races after finishing second at both Chicago and New Hampshire.  And this week he could really build on that lead with a win at a track where he’s very well over the years and where he’s won four of the last seven races.

In June, he avoided a 12-car wreck early on in the race and went on to lead 289 of 400 laps for his seventh career win at Dover. It moved him into a tie with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most all-time victories at the one-mile track.

Johnson heads into the weekend with a one point lead over Brad Keselowski, the winner at Chicago two weeks ago. And last week’s winner at New Hampshire, Denny Hamlin is third in the standings, seven points back.

Dover has never been a good track for Hamlin. He has one Nationwide win there, but he’s never won a Sprint Cup event there. He has just two top-10 finishes in his last 10 races there and in 13 career starts he has an average finish of 20th. Of all 10 of the Chase tracks – it’s his least favorite and he says it’s probably because of the concrete. He says he just can’t get a good feel compared to pavement.

Keselowski has also struggled at Dover. His best finish in his five races there is 12th, which came earlier this season. And like Hamlin, Keselowski says there’s no question that Dover is his weakest track.

Defending series champion Tony Stewart stands fourth, 10 points back. Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer are both 15 points behind.


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